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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

rather ambiguous, although this principle was known in Polish history.
It had been applied in the Third Partition^ when Austria had received
the district of Cracow^, as compensation ... for Belgium^ which she had
lost to France. The Kremlin's proposal of compensation was not so
much in order to justify the Russian annexation of Eastern Poland as to
extend their rule to the banks of the Oder. In any case., the suggestion
that Poland should lose about twelve millions of her citizens, Poles,
Ukrainians^ and White Ruthenians, and acquire in their place six or
nine million Germans, seemed neither favourable nor inviting.
The figures showing the area and the number of the population of
Eastern Poland between the frontier with Russia and the ' Ribbentrop-
Molotov Line ' have been mentioned above (see Vol. I, p. 215). The area
between that frontier and the c Curzon Line 5 inclusive of Eastern Galicia.,
was a little smaller, namely, 70,007 square miles, 46.5 per cent, of the Polish
Republic, with a total of 11,900,000 in 1939 (10,734,000 according to the
1931 census), of whom 4,464,000 were Poles, 4,431,000 Ukrainians, 987,000
White Ruthenians, 785,000 natives of Polesie, 946,000 Jews, 100,000
Russians, and 150,000 others (Lithuanians, Czechs, Germans, etc.). Corres-
ponding figures for 1931 census were about 10.5 per cent, less for each
nationality. The majority of people in that sparsely populated province of
Polesie described themselves in every census as * local people,5 they con-
sidered themselves neither White Ruthenian nor Ukrainians nor Poles.
The religious aspect of the position in all Polish territories east of the
* Curzon Line,' and of the latter's c extension into Galicia,' was this :—
Catholics of both rites, 56.7 per cent., Orthodox, 31.7 per cent., Hebrews,
9.9 per cent, and other denominations 1.7 per cent.    The figures illustrating
the religious denominations in Eastern Galicia were :—Catholics (of both
rites), 88.7 per cent., Hebrews, 10.4 per cent., others 0.9 per cent.
The Soviets had also hinted that a great exchange of population should
follow—the Germans to be sent to Germany, or (as it was later to trans-
pire) to the forced labour camps in Russia,*while the Poles from the Eastern
province of Poland would probably be sent to Poland or to the Soviet
Union. There was no mention here of those Polish citizens who had
already been deported to Russia. There can be no doubt that, in the
event of any option being given to the citizens in the Eastern provinces of
Poland, at leaste nine-tenths * of the inhabitants who had passed through
two years of the Soviet's occupation and regime would choose to go
to a free Poland, although it was thoroughly devastated. At the time
of Munich, German propaganda had asserted that Czecho-Slovakia
*  The Soviet system, which uses forced labour to work in the most primitive
of ways, was ceaselessly in need of an unlimited and continuous supply of man-
power.   Already the Moscow Government in 1943, had begun a preliminary
propaganda campaign to obtain about * one or two dozen million German workers *
after the war for the reconstruction of Russia.
In the beginning of 1944, the Soviets had put forward the claim in the * European
Advisory Council' that the entire German Army should be " declared prisoners
and re-organised into labour groups for reconstruction work in the devastated lands
after the war." This claim . . . was not even considered by the British and
American Governments—who pointed out that they were bound by the Hague
Convention, under which any such treatment of the German Army would be
illegal . , . Russia is not a signatory of the Convention. Observer, May Vthj 1944.
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